Pylyp Orlyk

To get to know about life and works of the Hetman in exile Pylyp Orlyk, visitors can go to one of the museum’s galleries. Pylyp Orlyk is the scion of Lithuanian–Belarusian nobility of Nowina coat of arms. He is is the son of Stepan Orlyk (killed near Khotyn in 1673) and Iryna of the Malakhovskyi family (see the genealogical family tree at the exhibition).

Pylyp Orlyk was born in the village of Kosuta, Ashmyany county at Wilno voivodeship. His primary education was received at a Jesuit College in Vilnius. Shortly after his family moved to Ukraine and P. Orlyk enrolled at Kyiv Mohyla Academy (graduated in 1694), in 1668 he became the secretary of the Kyivan conservatory(?) A marriage (1698) with Hanna Hertsyk, a daughter of the colonel Pavlo Hertsyk of the Poltava regiment, paved the way for his career within starshyna (the ruling class of in the Cossack state, the highest Cossack officers). From 1700 P. Orlyk became a senior member of the military council then a supervisor of the General Military Chancellery, and finally a Secretary General (General chancellor), the second-ranking official of the Zaporizhian army. In that capacity he was Mazepa's closest aide.

P. Orlyk made many efforts during the tumultuous times of 1708-1709. In particular he helped Hetman I. Mazepa in his attempts to create an anti-Muscovite coalition in Eastern Europe. In the gallery, there’s a scheme of administrative and military management of the Zaporozhian army during the days of Ivan Mazepa. Together with Ivan Mazepa Orlyk they moved abroad. After Mazepa's death he was elected Hetman abroad at Bendery on April 5, 1710. The same day the document “Pacts and Constitutions of Rights and Freedoms of the Zaporizhian Host…” was adopted. The chief author of the Constitution was Pylyp Orlyk. The copy of the Constitution can be seen among the other collections of the gallery.

The main aim of P. Orlyk’s policies was to liberate Ukraine from Russian rule. Backed by the Zaporozhian Host and by the alliance with Sweden, Pylyp Orlyk sought to make the Ukrainian question a matter of international concern and establish a new an anti-Muscovite coalition. He concluded an alliance treaty with the Crimean Khanate (23 January 1711), negotiated with Turkey (that recognized his authority over Right-Bank Ukraine and the Zaporizhia in “privilegium” of 1712), conducted talks with the Don Cossacks (Bulavintsy, participants in Kondratii Bulavin's revolt who had fled to the Kuban), and even contacted the Kazan Tatars and the Bashkirs. In 1711–14 Orlyk led armed struggle against Moscow in Right-Bank Ukraine, which despite initial victories ultimately failed, because of Turkish vacillation and predatory conduct of the Crimea. All these events are depicted in photographic documents of the collaction. In 1714 P. Orlyk and a part of his General Officer Staff moved to Sweden, and in 1720 – he moved to Germany, for some time he lived incognito in Silesia, and in Poland, and from 1722 until the end of his life he lived in Turkish-controlled territories. In fact he was interned (until 1734 in Salonika, then in the Budzhak, and finally in Moldavia). During that period Orlyk sought the support of different European countries among them Sweden, Poland, Saxony, Great Britain, Hannover, Holstein, the Vatican, and, through his son, Hryhor Orlyk, France. Together with his son he tried to organize a personal army and to incite the Zaporozhian Host to rise against Russian rule, but all these efforts were without any success, because of the unfavourable political situation in relation to Ukraine. Pylyp Orlyk died in 1742 in Iaşi.